New research, published online Wednesday in the journal Neurology, has some good news for people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a debilitating neurological condition.
The study has found that people with MS may not be at risk of developing breast and colorectal cancers. However, it has been found that people with MS could be at risk of bladder cancer.
Study author Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, said, “This is good news for people with MS because earlier studies have shown a link between MS and breast and colorectal cancers.”
“While we did not find that link, our study did show that people with MS had a 72% greater risk of developing bladder cancer,” added Dr. Ann Marrie, who is also a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study researchers examined the health records of nearly 53,985 people with MS and 266,920 people without MS in Canada.
One person with MS was compared to five people without the neurological condition. The team then used cancer registries to look at the incidence of breast, colorectal, bladder, and 12 other cancers.
Considering factors such as sex, education, and socioeconomic status, the researchers found that cancer risk or incidence and cancer mortality rates did not differ between the two groups for breast and colorectal cancer.
However, there was a different story with bladder cancer. The team found that the incidence of bladder cancer was 25 cases per 100,000 people with MS and 15 per 100,000 people without MS.
Taking into account factors like age, sex, and socioeconomic status, people with MS were found to have a 72% risk of developing bladder cancer than those without the condition.
Dr. Marrie explained, “The increased risk of bladder cancer in people with MS may have to do with the fact that people with the disease are more likely to have urinary tract infections and use catheters. However, more research is needed to confirm our findings.”
One of the limitations of the study is that the team was unable to consider differences in health behaviors like diet, physical activity, and smoking.
Another limitation was the researchers did not consider the possibility of specific MS-modifying treatments contributing to the cancer risk. The article was originally published on Medical Xpress.